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#294451 - 07/06/09 11:29 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: honey girl]
loc Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 12
Dear Jim,

First let me say that it is only the strong and the brave who seek out therapy. I believe that it takes courage to go into counseling and participate in 12 step programs and shows a willingness on your part to start the healing process which is no easy task. Working with your therapist and groups/sponsor will help you decide when is the best time/place to disclose. Even the more seasoned members can help to guide you. Please continue to take care of yourself on your journey. You are on the right track and I applaud you. And thank you for giving me hope that one day my husband will seek his own healing. I am the wife of a survivor. I wish all the best for you and your family.


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#294582 - 07/08/09 12:12 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: loc]
DevotedWife Offline


Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 1
Hi Jim,
I'm not sure how many of the above responses are from wives, but I am responding to you as a wife of someone who was sexually abused as a child.

It is impossible for your wife to know what you're going through if you haven't talked about it with her before. It is so easy for wives to feel their husbands need to man up and be the strong one when they feel they have nothing significant to be upset about. In my experience, I wondered why my husband wasn't as supportive and understanding of my emotions as I've had my own problems and need his support as well.

I should give some background. We have been married for just over 3 years, and I knew my husband had been abused as a child and been through years of therapy before we were married. I have no personal experience with therapy, and began to think that it may have stunted my husband's emotional growth as I learned more about his insecurities. However, I just recently learned that the therapy was never about his childhood sexual abuse...it had never been dealt with. In fact, he tried to tell his family years ago, and they wanted to pretend that there wasn't a problem. It wasn't until I learned that this had never been dealt with and how his family had treated the issue that I truly began to understand my husband.

I love my husband so much, and I want nothing more than to understand what he's going through. I can understand why he's been so afraid to speak out about this, but like I said I was originally under the impression that it had all been opened up before. For us, it took a family crisis to reopen the wounds. Unfortunately, his sister was also a victim of this uncle of theirs and their aunt is just now learning the atrocities committed by her ex-husband.

I can't begin to advise you on the best way to talk to your wife about this. I'm sure that the longer you hold on to secrets the harder it is to talk about them. I also believe that it is very important not to keep secrets like that from your wife. I guess I just believe that your wife won't think you're being a "big baby" if she knows what is really going on with you. It is so important for the intimacy of your relationship to understand each other. You might even learn why she seems to feel so negatively about therapy...perhaps you can start by talking about that with her.

I hope this experience brings you closer to your wife and that you can both be open, loving and supportive of each other.


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#295317 - 07/14/09 08:44 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: honey girl]
Junefriday Offline


Registered: 06/05/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Canada
Hi Jim,

I haven't been on this site for a long time but thought I would pop back in tonight and read your post.

I don't think anyone can really predict how your wife will react. If she does react negatively, it may only be temporary. People are afraid of change and don't process well what they can't understand. Don't push her; state the facts, offer to answer any questions she may have when she is ready and ask for her support. Then give her some time.

My former husband didn't disclose his history to me but when I asked, he told me the story. I didn't know what to do or how to react despite the fact that I suspected it somewhat. I think I was expecting to see more emotion from him, but he was very "flat" as he told the story. He then said he was over it which I knew wasn't true at all. The biggest challenge for me was that I didn't know what to do about it. I didn't know if I could ask him questions when I had them. I didn't know if he wanted to talk about it now and then. I didn't want to ignore what had happened but I didn't want to push him. Whatever I did or didn't do though wasn't right because he wound up saying that I treated him differently after I found out.

Think about what you want from your wife so that you are prepared to answer her if she asks what she should do or what you need from her.

Good luck!

JF

_________________________
"Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.”

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#295409 - 07/15/09 01:11 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Junefriday]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1099
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Thanks to everyone for your responses (and support), I am considering them all.

I am tired of the secrets. My whole life seems to be a giant secret at times. Can I live without secrets?? Hmmm.

Jim

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#295432 - 07/15/09 03:15 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
jim, that is one big struggle you have there. i feel for both you and your wife that things have to be that way. i'm sorry i am not able to be more supportive. secrets are just too painful for me to handle in my own life. i feel badly that i can't get beyond the hurt and vulnerability i feel around secrecy issues. secrets are rampant in my family, and so trust is ZERO. add to that the fact that i disclosed to so many people unwisely and have had my very livelihood at stake for doing. you are a good man, and you deserve to live in disclosure, but i realize, it just is not that simple....i do understand that. you will let her know when and if the time is right. in the meantime, you have managed to create an awesome support system to surrey you above the mosh pit in these dark times.

all the best,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#295474 - 07/15/09 10:42 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Sans Logos]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1099
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Ron,
Thanks for the kind words and sound advice. You are part of that support structure too, thank you.

Jim

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#296376 - 07/22/09 11:34 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
MPackard Offline


Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 43
Loc: MS
Jim, I'm the wife of a CSA survivor. He's an addict and rather self destructive. Unfortunately I, too, used to think that T was for sissies
But then my whacked out coping skills failed me. I have a lot of FOO issues myself and used to think that if I could get through my childhood "unscathed" then so can anyone. I really thought that!!!! I'm SO NOT UNSCATHED!!!! At any rate, I'm now in T myself. I know now that it was a coping skill that made me feel that way. Perhaps that is what's going on with your wife?
My H is early in his recovery. He disclosed to me about 2 years ago, but even then I didn't know what that meant. When he got caught acting out was when I came in search of the effects of CSA. I think it would be great for your wife if you disclosed in a general way and then sent her here.
My prayers are with you.


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#296421 - 07/22/09 05:02 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: MPackard]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16263
Originally Posted By: MPackard
Unfortunately I, too, used to think that T was for sissies
But then my whacked out coping skills failed me. I have a lot of FOO issues myself and used to think that if I could get through my childhood "unscathed" then so can anyone. I really thought that!!!! I'm SO NOT UNSCATHED!!!! At any rate, I'm now in T myself. I know now that it was a coping skill that made me feel that way. Perhaps that is what's going on with your wife?


See, that is the defining statement of this discussion, in my mind anyhow. It doesn't matter what sex we are or what trauma issues contribute to the brokenness in which we find ourselves. Broken people choose broken people to enter into relationship with AND every person has within themselves some degree of brokenness.

The wise person, when brought face to face with their own brokenness will seek a positive way forward through it.

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#298065 - 08/05/09 12:56 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: honey girl]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
I'm a wife and I'm going to try and be helpful. I'm sorry your wife isn't as understanding as you need her to be. I couldn't help my husband until I knew what was going on however with him. My husband was cold and uncaring and really pushed me away at every turn and I WAS ANGRY at him all the time. I'm sure years ago he may have felt like I was not supportive of him. It's hard to hug a porcupine comes into mind. When I had the details, when I knew how hurt he had been I was 100 percent behind him. Prior to that I was really being mentally abused by my husband. He was hurt and he was going to make sure that I hurt as much as he did. Let me tell ya, being on the same page feels a whole heckof a lot better than not. We have our ups and downs and he stumbles but I think we are moving forward. Keep going to therapy. Don't let anyone keep YOU from making strides. You have to get better for you and your kids. I sure hope your wife will be there for you no matter what and that she can see the progress in you and become proud of you.
Good luck!!

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#298957 - 08/12/09 08:15 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
roxanne Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 16
I can only say what happened to me.

My H disclosed to me after 14 years of marriage. It was like 10,000 lightbulbs going on. In one moment I understood all the confusing stuff of our life together: all the hurt and pain he put me through. I had taken it personally all those years, I felt ugly and unattractive to him, I felt like he would always be annoyed and angry with me no matter what I did or didn't do. And in one moment I understood.

He went through some very bad weeks after his disclosure, hit the wall, we were both focused for the first few weeks on helping him get through the next 15 minutes and the next 15 minutes after that. As hard and scary as that was, I wouldn't have chosen to be anywhere else but there helping him or rather, witnessing the human will to survive horror. I learned so much about his pain. It was a great privilege.

I began to read, eventually have read 17 books on trauma and CSA and so much of the "crazy" began to make sense. I realized how I might have said things in the past that would have made my H scared to disclose. I realized how some of my innocent behaviours might have triggered him.

If you don't know, then you can't know, right?

As has been often said on this website, once you disclose, you have no control over what people do with it. I don't know how your wife will react. For me, it was a wave of relief. I finally understood what it was that sat between us. His disclosure freed me.

It has been 3 years since his disclosure. He has worked very hard at therapy and healing and is doing so well, but things are still really rocky between us. I often feel that he thinks I am obligated to take whatever bad treatment he dishes out because of the CSA. He even jokes about it in good times (It triggers me when you ask me to take out the garbage - HAHA). Will we survive as a couple? I still don't know. We are both working at it. Good days and bad days.

But his disclosure gave me a great gift: I spent the first 44 years of my life ignorant of the subject of child sexual abuse, and I am now informed. I cry sometimes for all the children. Sometimes I feel guilty that I made it through childhood without being abused. Why him and not me? I raise the topic of CSA often with others, and not once when I have raised the topic have I not heard from someone who either had it happen to them or someone they love: people I have known or worked with for years who have never told a soul have told me about themselves or their siblings or their kids. I have found people positive, affirming, wanting to know how to help, how to support. I have only found good from others. We talk, we cry, we laugh, we explain it to those who don't understand, we make it less secret each time, we expose the abusers.

I would never want to go back to not knowing. It was a terrible place to be.

Roxanne


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